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Looking for multi-day route suggestions

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Looking for multi-day route suggestions

Postby Toe-Bang » Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:29 pm

I grew up hiking with my father all throughout the world but he has recently passed on and I’m now tasked with planning my own routes which I’m rather quickly finding out is quite difficult. Long story short I’m looking for a good 4 day route that preferably has summiting Mt. Elbert somewhere in it.

•Mt. Elbert is not an absolutly crucial requirement.
•The trip is planned for mid July
•We are all in fairly good condition but nothing over 15 miles a day would be preferred
•Nothing to technical (over class 3)
•3-5 days long
•We will only have one car so it has to be circular
•Definitely want to summit a few peaks in it.

I greatly appreciate it

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Re: Looking for multi-day route suggestions

Postby Weegie5 » Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:36 pm

I've suggested this before in other threads. It is one I am hoping to tackle over 4th of July weekend.

You could do the central Sawatch on an east-west route covering Oxford, Belford, Missouri, Huron, and LaPlata: map. It would require hitchhiking or a 2nd vehicle.
3+ days, almost 30 miles, 5 summits. You could reverse the route and ascend Ellingwood Ridge on LaPlata and descend the SW ridge to Winfield.

Alternatively, you could make a loop of it and park at the Missouri Gulch TH, hiking back down the road from Winfield.
~James

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Re: Looking for multi-day route suggestions

Postby Jim Davies » Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:57 am

Given good weather and strong legs, you could make a loop of Elbert and Massive starting at the Halfmoon TH: up Elbert's NE ridge, descend to South Halfmoon Creek drainage somehow (perhaps go over Bull Hill first), climb Massive via North Halfmoon route (possibly tricky creek crossing along the way), descend east route back to Colorado trail and the trailhead. Carrying full packs over the two highest summits in Colorado will be the hardest part, along with possible trailless descent to South Halfmoon. Several campable areas along the way; North Halfmoon Lakes is pretty nice. One nice feature of this loop is that your main bailout options along the way (in case of lightning or failure of stamina/will) lead you back to your car.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

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Re: Looking for multi-day route suggestions

Postby Toe-Bang » Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:28 pm

http://www.mapmyfitness.com/route/us/co/co/389124441562327639

Here is what I've come up with so far (Jim’s suggestion) but I'm stuck. Anyone know a way to complete the loop without backtracking? I would consider just scaling down the west side of Elbert but I have a feeling that the topo map doesn't give an accurate description of how difficult that would be.

To sum it up...I need a way to get from the top of Elbert, west, down to the north halfmoon creek trailhead. It can take a day or two.

The reason why I’m not just setting up a base camp and just day tripping it up to those two peeks is because I have 5 days available to me for hiking and I’m in the best shape of my life; why not go on one big expedition…

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Re: Looking for multi-day route suggestions

Postby rijaca » Sun Jun 07, 2009 6:46 pm

Toe-Bang wrote:I would consider just scaling down the west side of Elbert but I have a feeling that the topo map doesn't give an accurate description of how difficult that would be.

To sum it up...I need a way to get from the top of Elbert, west, down to the north halfmoon creek trailhead. It can take a day or two.
…


The west slopes of Elbert are a class 2 climb.
"Spent a little time on the mountain
Spent a little time on the hill"

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Re: Looking for multi-day route suggestions

Postby Hunter » Sun Jun 07, 2009 6:47 pm

There's a road up the drainage between Elbert and French Mountain. The problem you may face a similar problem we did last year. Lake County 11 was impassible in a small SUV due to runoff from a tributary to N Halfmoon Creek. Day one: We parked just east of the N Halfmoon Cr TH (Massive) and were able to find a place to hike across farther up the hill a bit (south). From the same location you're not far from the S Halfmoon Cr TH (Elbert). This route follows S Halfmoon Cr up a drainage were you'll find a clearing at 11,400. Again, last year the swamp was more like a fast moving river. (Things could be different this year with less snow)? In Roach's words, 'this route provides a workout'. From the clearing, 'Elbert's summit is only 1.3 miles away, but an astonishing 3,000 feet above you'. Do the math on the degree incline and don't forget much of this is on loose scree. Additionally, don't expect to have a defined route here. You say you're in the shape of your life and you'd REALLY better be for this combo, but it's how I'd hit both from the same location with one car without a circular approach. Watch the weather and start early. Day two drive to Winfield where you can do Missouri, Belford, & Oxford from the same TH, but it's 'a long day'. Realize that the east side down Missouri is loose nasty scree. Vuala- you have 5 peaks under your belt in two days. Grab some Pizza Works in BV afterward. The Godzilla was enough to feed three hungry peak baggers.
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